NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies Convocation Ceremonies to Recognize Achievements of Nearly 1,500 Graduates

Higher Education Executive Cathy Sandeen, Vice President of Education Attainment and Innovation of the American Council on Education (ACE), Will Deliver the Undergraduate Convocation Address on May 19

H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein,
Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Will Speak at the Graduate Convocation Ceremony on May 20

NEW YORK, May 15, 2014 – Close to 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world will receive their degrees from the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) during Convocation ceremonies that will recognize them for their completion of rigorous, professionally oriented programs of study. The NYU home to learning and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally, NYU-SCPS prepares students who are just beginning on their career paths, as well as those who are seasoned veterans.

NYU-SCPS Dean Dennis Di Lorenzo noted, “NYU-SCPS truly serves as an incubator for innovation and thought leadership in growing and evolving industries. Our students come from across the country and around the globe to acquire educational credentials that provide them with the access and opportunity needed to compete and succeed. Their diversity, drive, and determination epitomize the very essence of what an NYU education is all about. Through these Convocation ceremonies, we acknowledge and celebrate their hard work, sacrifice, and achievement.”

This year’s student Convocation speakers are prime examples of the unique individuals that NYU-SCPS attracts and prepares for personal and professional success.


Theresa Cardamone, who enrolled in college after a 38-year hiatus, will address the undergraduate class. Rather than attending college in her early 20s, Cardamone chose to devote her life to her greatest passion—horses. During the time when her peers were completing their degrees, she was managing a California horse farm, raising world-class Arabians, leaving her no time to pursue an undergraduate degree. Realizing that she would, one day, want to transition out of this highly competitive industry, Cardamone moved to New York City and enrolled in the NYU-SCPS Paul McGhee Undergraduate Division, which provided credit for her prior learning and life experience. After decades of being away from formal education, she is graduating with a B.A. in Social Sciences and a 3.96 grade point average.


Sejal Daftari, who will be this year’s graduate Convocation student speaker, is an example of an NYU-SCPS student who has left home and family behind to gain an educational credential that will help to distinguish her in the growing field of human resource management. A native of Mumbai, India, Daftari was deeply motivated by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Learn as if you were to live forever.” She understood the invaluable and lasting role that education would play in defining her personally and professionally. During her tenure at NYU-SCPS, Daftari has been involved in the Student Council, has served as the Student Council representative of the NYU-Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student club, and has benefitted from internships that include a stint as an executive compensation consultant at Bank of America. She is graduating with an M.S. in Human Resource Management and Development, and a 3.88 grade point average.

This year’s Convocation speakers reflect the School’s progressive stance on providing transformative educational experiences to nontraditional students, as well as its deep commitment to offering a truly global perspective in all facets of teaching and learning.


Undergraduate Speaker
Cathy Sandeen, Ph.D.

Cathy Sandeen serves as vice president for Education Attainment and Innovation at the American Council on Education (ACE), the nation’s largest and most visible association representing all sectors of higher education.

She oversees ACE’s efforts to increase postsecondary educational attainment, capitalizing on her expertise in technology and higher education innovation, nontraditional students, prior learning assessment, alternative credentials, and MOOCs. She also oversees ACE’s Center for Education Attainment and Innovation, including major grant programs, the ACE credit recommendation service, veterans’ programs, and development of new initiatives.

From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Sandeen served as dean of UCLA Extension at the University of California, Los Angeles, which educates 50,000 students per year. Prior to joining UCLA, Dr. Sandeen served as vice provost and dean of University Extension and Summer Session at University of California, Santa Cruz, and held several positions at University of California, San Francisco.

A prolific writer and speaker, Dr. Sandeen is the 2009 recipient of the Research and Scholarship Award by the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Dr. Sandeen earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She was an ACE fellow in 2010-11.


Graduate Speaker
H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Ph.D.

H.R.H. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein is Jordan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, a post he has held since September 2010, and previously from 2000-2007. From 2007-2010, he was Jordan’s ambassador to the United States of America. He also served as Jordan’s deputy permanent representative at the U.N., with the rank of ambassador, from 1996-2000.

In January 2014, he was president of the U.N. Security Council and is presently chairman of the Security Council’s 1533 and 1521 committees with regard to two sanctions regimes: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.

Prince Zeid is a member of the Advisory Committee to The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation based in The Hague; serves on the International Advisory Councils of the International Peace Institute and The Security Council Report; is an honorary member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Global Affairs at the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies; is a member of the International Advisory Board of The International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life at Brandeis University; and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University.

Prince Zeid holds a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University (Christ’s College).

The 2014 NYU-SCPS undergraduate Convocation ceremony will take place on Monday, May 19, at the Grand Hyatt New York (109 East 42nd Street, Park Avenue at Grand Central Terminal), from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The 2014 NYU-SCPS graduate Convocation ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 20, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden (Seventh Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets), from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

In addition to the NYU-SCPS Convocation ceremonies, the NYU 182nd Commencement
will take place on Wednesday, May 21, at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies

Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies (sps.nyu.edu) is one of NYU's several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School's diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Health; Arts, Design, and Film; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Entrepreneurship; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages and Humanities; Management and Systems; Marketing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Sports Management, Media, and Business; Translation; and Writing.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates over 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by nearly 28,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses and Diploma Programs. The School's community is enriched by more than 31,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu.